Consumers are more likely to shop in stores than online but are eager for new in-store technology.
While over 81% of shoppers said they would visit a national retailer’s branch over the next year, just 60% said they would shop online at the same retailer, according to the Barclays New Retail Reality report.
However, while just 36% of shoppers said they planned to use the mobile app of a pure-play etailer over the next 12 months, 83% of shoppers said they would buy from the desktop website of one.
Consumers are much more likely to shop at a local or independent retailer (77%) than use a subscription delivery service (17%).
The report also measured the appeal of new technology to retailers. Shoppers were most eager to see more touchscreen technology (65%) while virtual reality (57%), smart fitting rooms (57%) and augmented reality (52%) were also popular.
Consumers also valued new payment technologies highly, with consumers going so far as to term contactless payment (48%) and mobile payment (37%) “life-changing”.
Shoppers were less keen on drones, owing to worries around privacy, security and collisions.
Social media was shown to have made its mark on the shopping experience.
Consumers are now five times more likely to complain via social media than they were three years ago. What’s more, one in three expected a response within an hour.
On the high street, many shoppers (44%) said they wanted more independent specialists while 36% said they wanted more independent cafes and restaurants. However, 29% said they wanted more discount stores.
Barclays head of retail and wholesale Ian Gilmartin said: “The British high street is part of what has made the UK great. Being a ‘nation of shopkeepers’ is ingrained in our cultural identity and consumer pride in the sector endures.
“Our research reveals that the public still see the high street as an essential part of the shopping experience. Consumer expectations are currently moving faster than retailer innovation. More investment is needed to keep consumers coming back for what they love – great British high street experiences.”
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